Thursday, November 13, 2008

Q & A: John Parker Wilson, Alabama

CFI: Take us through the overtime - the LSU interception, the pass to Julio Jones, 24 yards to his back shoulder and the game winning score…

WILSON: They had a long third down and Rashad (Johnson) made a tremendous play in the back of the end zone to pick off a ball. It would’ve been tough for anyone to make, but he set his feet and dragged them in the end zone. We get the ball, coach (Nick) Saban said “let's take a shot” so we were going to try to throw it deep to Julio in the end zone, but their defender was playing him great, he had him covered up. We couldn't go over the top so we had to back shoulder him…(I threw a) a good ball but he made a tremendous catch to stay in bounds and get a couple yards after that. The quarterback sneak had worked for us earlier in the game, that’s how we scored our first touchdown, and just we were able to follow Antwan Caldwell right in the end zone, no question about it, to win the game.

CFI: Tell us about Julio Jones…how huge has he been this season?

WILSON: He has been tremendous. He is a great guy. He came in from day one as a highly recruited guy out of high school. He came in the first day and wanted to earn his spot, earn his playing time. He has done that, he has been a great leader on our team. The way he comes out and practices motivates everyone else on the team. He gets everyone else going. He is a great leader for the wide outs and really, for our whole team.

CFI: What was tougher to bounce back from - the missed field goal at the end of regulation or when your 35-yard touchdown run was negated?

WILSON: Earlier in the game we didn't play well at all. I think we played our worst half of the season in the first half and the defense kept us in it. We were lucky to be tied going into halftime as poorly as we played on offense. The harder play to come back from was the touchdown run that got called back because it put us out of field goal range, which meant we had to get back into it. The field goal kick that was blocked, you’re ready for the game to be over, but kind of expect something like that to happen so we were able to recover pretty well and win it in overtime.

CFI: You guys are playing for an SEC Title and a potential national title…but were you guys playing for Coach Saban on Saturday?

WILSON: It was big for us, it was big for him. He didn't make a big deal out of it all week, but we knew how much of a big deal it was just because he was going back to his old place where he won a national championship, had a lot of good memories there. Now we wanted to make some good memories for him here.

CFI: Tell us about the unsportsmanlike penalty. How many phone calls did you receive from LSU fans?

WILSON: You know I got quite a few. They get a hold of it and most people around the Southeast know it now, so I had to take care of that but it's a part of it. I guess it's something they like doing.

CFI: Tell us about being one of the Davey O'Brien Award Semifinalists.

WILSON: It's a huge honor to be recognized with some of the guys that are in that group and for an award that is so prestigious and well-known, everybody knows what it’s about. It's just an honor for me to have my name in that group and to be mentioned with those guys.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media